Photography by: Cindya Limantara-Plaehn

Paola Santa Cruz was born in Peru into a family of Spanish origin. She initiated her dance training with classic ballet at the age of five. Later begun her flamenco studies with gypsy dancer Pepe Amaya, niece of legendary dancer Carmen Amaya. Paola has since trained with some of the best dancers in Spain such as Mercedes Ruiz, Rocio Molina, Rafaela Carrasco, Andres Peña, Domingo Ortega, Inmaculada Ortega, Amor Sanchez, Chiqui de Jerez and Adela Campallo amongst others. Paola Santa Cruz formed part of the Company "El Mirabras" in Rome and performed at the famous tablao Cantares in Buenos Aires. Theatre performances include Teatro Olimpico in Rome, Peacock Theatre in London, Teatro Avenida in Buenos Aires, Siri Fort Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, and Instituto Cervantes New Delhi Auditorium. 

Her recent work in India include her acclaimed production of India to Spain: A Journey of Gypsies which toured serveral theatres. Paola established the first traditional flamenco school in India introducing the art form to many, including professional Classical Indian dancers. Paola collaborated with the Instituto Cervantes - Nueva Delhi both teaching flamenco dance and regularly performing at the Instituto's Auditorium.  

Paola is currently performing and teaching flamenco in London and performs annualy at the Hampstead Summer Festival as well as her annual student show. She is keen on exploring  different forms of fusion with dance forms as diverse as kathak, Tudor and barroque. In addition to her teaching and performing Paola is currently working on various projects to bring flamenco dance as a performing arts into schools.